November 3, 2012
Weekday priority for Hatteras residents
on emergency ferries begins Monday
By IRENE NOLAN
County has listened to Hatteras residents who need to leave the island
for doctor’s appointments, jobs, and other business and has announced
that beginning Monday, Nov. 5, priority boarding will be given to
Hatteras Island residents traveling weekdays on the emergency ferry
service between Stumpy Point and Rodanthe.
boarding for residents will be done Monday through Friday and requires
a driver’s license with a Hatteras Island address.
weekday priority will be given to residents boarding on either side of
the emergency ferry route behind vehicles with essential commodities,
recovery supplies, and those with medical priorities, as determined by
Dare County Emergency Management and the North Carolina Department of
Many readers posted comments on the Island Free
Press website yesterday and today about the long wait for the emergency
ferry, which began running on Tuesday.
Until yesterday, entry to
Hatteras was restricted to supply and repair trucks, non-resident
property owners, and residents. Yesterday at 6 a.m., visitors
were also allowed to use the emergency ferries.
Friday, the lines were long at both Stumpy Point and Rodanthe.
Yesterday waits of up to 10 hours were not unusual.
Julia Yeisgst of Hatteras village wrote:
don’t understand the emergency ferry system." On Friday. I had a
doctor’s appointment in Nags Head. I left at 5 a.m. I live in Hatteras
village and have lived here for 25 years. My appointment was at 11:15
a.m. I missed my appointment because I was not allowed on the ferry
until 9 a.m. My doctor did fit me in. Then the journey home began. We
went straight to the ferry terminal. The lines were three miles long,
most out of state. I had a massive heart attack three years ago and
have since then been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, I am on 16
meds a day. Not that I want any special treatment, but I had to show a
receipt from my doctor’s appointment and prescriptions I was on so I
could get back on the ferry at 3 instead of 2 in the morning. I was
flabbergasted! What is the point in the ferry if it takes you almost 24
hours to get home? In line were all kind of out-of-state cars with loud
music and occupants drinking beer out of their sunroofs. I don't
understand any of this. Someone please help me understand why we have
to wait so long to board a ferry to go to a doctor’s appointment and
pray we get home the same day!”
Another reader sent us
this comment late last night, “Ferry is a disaster. Been here since 3
p.m. and hope to get on at 5:30 a.m. Priority boarding should still be
And another comment from a traveler: “Was there in
Stumpy Point last night and wait times were 7 to10 hours depending,
plus 2 1/2 ferry ride, so plan on 9-12 hours total. Bring a snack and a
The county is hoping that with the three extra ferries that
were added today, waiting times will be reduced. There are now 10 runs
from each side.
Dare County manager Bobby Outten said today that
the thinking is that most visitors are coming and going on the
weekends, and the major traffic on the ferry will be on weekdays with
trucks bringing supplies, service and repair trucks, and residents.
Supplies and repair and service trucks will retain priority, but residents will be allowed on before visitors.
You should still be prepared to wait and not make trips off the island if you don’t have medical or business reasons.
the N.C. Department of Transportation hits its estimate, the
inconvenience will last only a few weeks. DOT officials have said
they hope to open the road by Thanksgiving.
Visitors should also
consider taking the ferries from the mainland – from Swan Quarter or
Cedar Island – and then taking the Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry to the
island. You can make reservations on the ferries from the
mainland to Ocracoke, which will reduce your wait time.
Emergency ferry schedule
wishing to use the emergency route are reminded to expect long waits
and to be patient, as priority status is still in effect.
The Stumpy Point-Rodanthe schedule, beginning Saturday, Nov. 3 is:
- Departing Stumpy Point at 5 a.m., 6:30, 8, 9:30, 11, 12:30 p.m., 2, 3:30, 5 and 9:30.
- Departing Rodanthe at 6 a.m., 7:30, 9, 10:30, noon, 1:30 p.m., 3, 4:30, 6 and 7:30.
Ferry information is available by calling 800-293-3779 (BY-FERRY) and pressing 1, or via Twitter at www.twitter.com/ncdot_ferry.
to the Stumpy Point Emergency Ferry Dock at 100 Log Storage Road, off
Highway 264: Take Highway 64 to Highway 264. Follow Highway
264 approximately 13 miles past the entrance to the village of Stumpy
Point. Signs for emergency ferry service are posted to ferry
entrance that will be on your left.
Directions to the
Rodanthe Emergency Ferry Dock at 23170 Myrna Peters Road,
Rodanthe: Turn west off Highway 12 onto Myrna Peters Road, which
is located just north of the Community Building in Rodanthe.
Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry schedule
Visitors can now enter Hatteras Island via the Hatteras Inlet ferry. The ferry is still running every two hours.
The Hatteras-Ocracoke schedule is:
- Departing Hatteras at 6 a.m., 8, 10, noon, 2 p.m., 4, 6, 8, 10 and midnight; and
- Departing Ocracoke at 5 a.m., 7, 9, 11, 1 p.m., 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11.
visitors wishing to come to Hatteras through Ocracoke, keep in mind
that travel from Cedar Island to Ocracoke and Swan Quarter to Ocracoke
requires a reservation by calling 1-800-293-3779.
Swan Quarter and Cedar Island ferries
For schedules and reservations on the ferries from the mainland to Ocracoke, go to the N.C. Ferry Division website at http://www.ncdot.gov/ferry/.